I usually pick hotels based on aesthetics, location and price, pretty much in that order. I know a lot of people have the opinion that the hotel is just somewhere to sleep and change, but even so I like it to look and feel nice for the time that I’m there.
My first visit to New York was a surprise, so I didn’t choose where we stayed (which was the New Yorker on 34/8 – the location and appearance were pretty darn spot on to my taste) so this time around I wanted to stay somewhere that looked as good.
We pretty much hit the nail on the head with The Empire Hotel. It’s a lot higher up than a the ‘main touristy area’ in midtown, it’s one block west of the park and is virtually in uptown Manhattan. This meant that you could get more of an insight into a true New York neighbourhood which felt more relaxed, a bit of a escape from the hustle if the inner city.
We could pretty much see as soon as we stepped into the lobby that it was cool AF – full of drama and classic colours, with this awesome sweeping staircase to the mezzanine. The theme carried through to the lobby bar, which had a really chill vibe.The bedrooms also had the same kind of classy feel – as with a lot of NYC hotels the room wasn’t massive, but there was plenty of room to put all of our stuff (and we had a decent amount of it) and move around easily.The bathroom was pretty small but they made really good use of the space with the design and bathroom cabinet (I wash more hotels had them).
The crowning glory for us was the awesome rooftop bar.
Up there you could see the hotel signs that lit up at night (sadly I didn’t manage to get picture when they were lit- the bar was very popular and pretty busy so there were a lot of people in the way when it got dark)There were 3 areas of the bar that all had a different look and feel which made it even more appealing. There was the secret garden… …the classy yet comfortable indoor area… …and the holiday bar.
We tried all of them out during our stay and all of them had their merits depending on what you want the mood of your afternoon/ evening to be about. Each area had views over the city and Lincoln centre
There’s also a daily happy hour (that lasts about 3, that definitely made me happy) which makes the expensive drinks of Manhattan just a little bit cheaper.
Both of us loved this hotel, I would definitely recommend it but more likely for someone that had visited the city before and had an idea as to where things are a little already.
Just one last thing about this hotel – I understand that it’s a big deal for fans of Gossip Girl (I’ve never watched it so it didn’t have same appeal for me) but there is nothing remotely referencing it either inside or in the bar, so don’t be disappointed if you go and find this is the case. It’s still a bloomin’ lovely hotel!
Parts 2 and 3 of my NYC series will be up soon – what to do, where to eat, he’ll I may even through in a bonus outfit post. Stay tuned…